• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This Handbook brings together scholars from around the world in addressing the global significance of, controversies over and alternatives to intellectual property (IP) today. It brings together over fifty of the leading authors in this field across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from law, economics, geography, sociology, politics and anthropology. This volume addresses the full spectrum of IP issues including copyright, patent, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as parallel rights and novel applications. In addition to addressing the role of IP in an increasingly information based and globalized economy and culture, it also challenges the utility and viability of IP today and addresses a range of alternative futures.

Patenting the Future
Patenting the Future

From one point of view, all IPRs are simply property rights like any other (see Phythian-Adams and Ghosh in Part I for accounts of such philosophical positions). From this point of view IPRs are granted as a simply (or ‘natural’) extension of prior possession or effort. However, in all jurisdictions and at all times (though in varying forms) IPRs have been time limited quasi-property rights conferred for the advancement they are assumed to encourage in terms of both future innovation and general welfare. As such, IPRs are always in this sense future oriented and justified in terms of future ‘progress’ (see Silbey in Part VIII). Time limitedness is meant to strike the balance between reward for past creativity, incentive ...

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